Not only did this feel strange to Dean, but it felt bizarrely…right. His brother and him playing some stupid board game with the Connors in the living room with a PG-rated movie occupying the job of background noise—as if the surprising intensity a game of Monopoly could bring on wasn't enough.
"Dean, I wanted that!"
He glanced over at his baby brother's subtle, effortless pout and caved. "Fine, I'll leave it, but next time I land on it, it's mine."
Sam rolled the dice. "Not if I land on it first," he murmured with a small grin.
Dean could care less about the game. For the first time in four months, his little brother was smiling; happy. He couldn't ask for anything better.
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Dean pulled up to the junior high of Lawrence South where his brother was supposed to be waiting for him. He'd dropped him off here this morning, he knew that much, but he didn't see Sammy anywhere on the sidewalk in the tidal wave of middle schoolers. Sighing, he stopped the engine of his car and got out just as he spotted Sam emerging from the school with a cute blonde girl about his age, holding her books so she could one by one put them in her purple backpack. Dean couldn't help but smirk to himself.
"Thanks, Sam," she smiled as she zipped up her bag and went to find her ride. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"Bye, Kelly," Sam said with an undeniable grin that almost immediately disappeared when he saw the smirk his big brother was wearing.
"Girlfriend on the first day, eh, Sammy? I'm proud," Dean chuckled as he went to get back in the driver's side of the Impala.
Sam got into the passenger's side, tossing his backpack into the backseat before settling into his side of the bench seat. "Shut up."
"She's cute… Ya know, for a seventh grader."
"Other than Blondie, how'd it go?"
"What do you want me to say? It was school. Kelly showed me around; I accidentally slept through math and almost got detention for it."
Sam gave him an exasperated look. "The teacher knew who I was."
"The kid that had the mental breakdown."
Dean ruffled his hair. "Eh, it's alright, Sammy. You've got Blondie now."
"Stop calling her that, her name's Kelly."
"Her nickname's Blondie."
Sam rolled his eyes and turned to face the window. Maybe if he didn't say anything, his brother wouldn't continue to mock him about the only friend he'd made that day.
When the two of them got home, Emily was kneeling in front of the garden by the front porch, the butt of her torn denim shorts covered in dirt and the phone pressed to her right ear while she chatted to what was assumed to be someone coming to the picnic-barbecue on Saturday.
"Hey, boys," she called over her shoulder, muttering something into the phone before setting it in the grass next to her feet. "So," she drawled, "how was it?"
Sam was about to answer her, since the question had been directed most obviously at him, but Dean interrupted his intake of air to talk.
"Sammy's got a little girlfriend," he grinned.
"I'm going in the house now," Sam stated with an annoyed sigh.
"Hang on!" Emily laughed, tugging on his backpack to pull him back towards where she was standing as Dean went inside to get something to eat. He was hoping there were some baked goods left.
"What?" Sam made a face as he watched Dean disappear into the house before he turned his attention back to the young woman kneeling in the grass, speckled in soil.
"C'mon, I wanna hear about your day."
Sam made a face.
"Would you rather Dean tell me everything at the dinner table?"
"Her name's Kelly."
"And? What classes is she in with you?"
"The only reason she talked to me was because she saw me leaving the school yesterday with Dean," he sighed. "She wanted to know what happened."
Emily continued with her gardening, glancing up to make sure he was going to go on.
He shrugged. "I hesitated so she took back the question."
"So…" she cast another glance over her shoulder, this time with a real smile, "do you like her?"
"I don't know! I just met her!" Sam tried to play off the blush creeping up to his nervously chuckling cheeks.
"Did you atleast invite her to the picnic?"
"Well, not yet…"
"So you're going to?"
"Why? Does it change something?" Immediately worried he was screwing with the plans, Sam's smile faded from his face.
"No, no! It doesn't change anything, honey, its fine. I'm glad you're making friends."
She barely heard the soft response. "So what do you want for dinner?"
"I get to choose?" His eyebrows furrowed together in confusion.
"You're gonna help me make it, aren't you?" Emily asked with a smile. "You don't have to if you don't want to, I just thought since you had so much fun yesterday…"
"No, I will," he smiled. "How about barbecue chicken and mashed potatoes?"
"That sounds good. I know I said homework after dinner, but I'm not gonna start dinner until I finish with this part of the garden, so why don't you go get a head start on it, alright?"
Sam nodded and started up the porch steps, disappearing into the house with a swift, dull thud of the door closing behind him.
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Emily had been working for hours to make sure the house was just right for the guests to be arriving soon for the picnic. She'd enlisted Sam's help in the kitchen, mostly because she knew he liked helping her with the food, but also because she knew how nervous he was about Kelly being at their house; especially since he still felt new there himself.
Her husband was in the backyard setting up tables and chairs while Dean did his best to open the umbrella in the center of the table on the patio, by the pool. He was standing on the table, waiting for the click signifying that the umbrella wouldn't collapse again, when Robert called his name. Dean turned around in response, but said nothing.
"You invited Amy to this thing, right?" Rob inquired, curiosity in his voice.
"Yeah." Dean gave him a suspicious look.
"Just her or her family, too?"
The Winchester brother paused for a moment. "Just her. I don't think her dad… She didn't seem to want him to know."
Rob nodded and went back to throwing the tablecloth onto the plastic furniture in front of him.
"Nothing," the elder man shook his head, "he's just… he's very aggressive and if something happened, I wouldn't want you to get in the middle and get hurt defending her. That's all."
Dean said nothing in response; he was already so lost in thought about the consequences of this new girl getting involved with him that he didn't hear his little brother call him from the sliding glass door on the patio.
"Dean!" Sam repeated again, more exasperated this time.
His big brother's eyes snapped in his direction, suddenly aware of Sam's presence. "What's up, Sammy?" he asked as he approached the door where Sam was holding out a chocolate chip cookie to him.
"Emily wanted you to try one. She said it might calm your nerves," Sam smiled innocently.
"How did… Who said I was nervous?"
"She saw you when you were lost in thought earlier, said you were probably nervous about Amy being at the picnic."
"I am not nervous!" Dean declared, louder than he had to which only made his brother laugh.
"Sure you aren't. Just eat the cookie." Sam waved the baked good at him until he snatched it and took a huge bite before disappearing into the house to hide in his room before the party started.
"Did he take it?" Emily asked with a knowing smile as Sam returned to the kitchen, chuckling at his brother.
"He doesn't like that you can read him so well."
"I told you not to tell him I knew he was nervous."
"He would've suspected I poisoned the cookie if I didn't tell him."
Emily couldn't hold back her laughter at that.
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Plenty of people had showed up by two 'o clock, enough to fill the backyard to the point where it was hard to tell where the pool was. At some point, Dean remembered wondering to himself where the fuck all the kids screams and splashing noises were coming from and then he remembered that the Connors' did have a pool – it just was damn near invisible unless you were standing right next to it in the midst of this party. So even while he was standing by a table covered in platters of food, eating almost handfuls of Doritos at a time, he was surprised he could spot Amy making her way through the crowd of people from the gate on the side of the house attached to the driveway. He found himself jumping over several chairs, a toddler and the neighborhood cat in his haste to make his way towards the teenage girl whose arrival he'd been anxiously awaiting for quite some time now.
"Hey," he greeted her, out of breath with an excited grin on his face.
"Wow," the red head chuckled, surprised by how fast he'd gotten through the people. "Nice to see you, too."
Dean's grin widened. "You hungry?"
"No thanks, I'm okay, but…it looks like you were pretty hungry…" She smiled at him and reached up to wipe the Dorito cheese residue on his cheek. "You uh… Did you happen to stick your face in the bowl?"
The excited expression fell from his face in confusion before he tugged his t-shirt up to wipe his cheek off. "Damnit, sorry," he mumbled, a very subtle blush sneaking to his cheeks.
"So…there're a lot of people here," she stated, her voice quivering a little bit. "I didn't expect such a large amount of people to show up for a picnic…"
Dean noticed how anxious she sounded and gently grabbed her hand so he could lead her towards a more secluded part of the party on the lawn where several of the teenagers-tweens from their school and Sam's were playing games and goofing off in the grass. Most of the adults had stayed on the patio where they could watch their kids in the pool and nibble on the food.
"Does your family know you're here or did you sneak out?" he asked, trying to be cautious around the subject of her parents after what Emily had told him the night before.
"I told them I was going to a friend's house," Amy replied with a subtle, yet proud rebellious grin on her lips.
"Hey, it's not a lie."
Dean saw her hesitate for a moment, as if she was about to say something in response to that, but she didn't. He was about to say something else when one of the kids from their school called her name.
A girl looking to be about sixteen, a little taller than Amy but shorter than Dean, was approaching the two of them, her blonde locks bouncing atop her bare shoulders. "Hey, I didn't expect to see you here," she greeted with a friendly smile. "I didn't know you two were…friends." Her gaze drifted from their interlocked fingers back to both their faces. "Nice to see you out and about."
"I don't believe we've met," Dean cut in holding out his free hand to the girl he didn't know. "I'm Dean."
She took his hand with another friendly smile, a bit more flirtatious this time. "Tricia."
Dean was going to make a reference to the fact that he didn't remember her from school, but he spotted his little brother sitting on the swings with Blondie and decided to pay more attention to them than the girl he didn't know.
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Sam was looking at her through his bangs, a shy smile on his face while he picked idly at the dirt caked on one section of his jeans where he had taken a spill playing soccer with her earlier. "Why are you always so nice to me?"
Confused by the question, Kelly looked up at him with a frown. "Is there a reason I shouldn't be?"
"No… Well…I don't think so, no, but… I used to move around a lot and no one ever just took in the new kid. Especially after what happened Monday…I was expecting the school freak to be my next new kid label."
She shrugged. "I don't think you're a freak."
"I don't understand why not," he mumbled. "I looked like an idiot."
"You looked upset," Kelly corrected him. "And I wasn't there to judge you."
"How can you not want to judge when you don't understand the situation? That's what everyone else does."
"Well, I'm not everyone else so why don't you explain it to me?"
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Amy found herself glued to Dean's side most of the time they were around a group of people, sometimes hiding in his side when given the chance. Whether it was because he wanted to grab some more of those chips or Emily needed him to grab another tray of food from inside the house, Amy was tagging along. And, eventually, Dean took notice of her lack of liking to crowds.
"You wanna go inside?" he asked, taking note on her current state, playing nervously with her clothes.
An unstoppable sigh of relief passed her lips as she nodded in response to his question.
With a chuckle, Dean led her through the house, until they were upstairs passing through the TV room and into the quiet of his bedroom. Even though he'd only been living in it for a week, he had already managed to make a teenager's mess of it. It was tidied at Emily's request, but it was still a bit disastrous. The bed was the only thing that looked neat. There was an overflowing clothes hamper in the corner of the room by the closet, his schoolbooks and papers scattered across the desk and on the back of the desk chair, his father's old leather jacket, with the Impala's keys hidden in the pocket, out of sight.
"No wonder you sought me out," Amy laughed, gesturing to the AC/DC poster on the wall. "You saw my earrings."
Dean grinned and nodded as he sat down on the chair, trying not to knock over anything on the desk. "That's why the teacher caught me staring in class."
"Yeah, about that. If you're going to stare, make it less obvious, would ya?" she smiled.
He chuckled and nodded again. "Yes, ma'am." He saluted her. "So you wanna watch a movie or something?"
Amy smiled. "Sure. Movie sounds good."
Dean went over to the collection of VHS tapes and pulled out one at random.
"The Frighteners sound good?" he asked.
"Never heard of it."
"Seriously?" he chuckled and hopped back on the bed next to her, knocking her over playfully, after he popped in the tape.
The two of them curled up on top the covers as the movie started. Not more than twenty minutes in, she'd gotten startled by something on the screen and cuddled closer to him, burying her face in his side. Dean cracked a smile, chuckled softly, and tightened his arm around her. Before the movie had a chance to finish, Dean heard Emily's voice echoing through the TV room from the hall, obviously looking for the two teenagers that had disappeared from the party almost an hour ago. The thought made him grin to himself; she was being a typical mother. He liked it that way.
"In here, Em," he called back as he got up to atleast poke his head out of the room.
"What're you doing hiding up here? Sam's been looking for you," Emily replied, then she suddenly turned to Amy sitting on the bed, only half paying attention to the movie now, "and your dad's downstairs…"
"Oh, shit," Amy murmured before she was rushing out of the room and down the stairs.
Emily gave Dean a certain look, one crossed between a silent scolding mother and a concerned one. He slammed the TV's power button off before taking off downstairs after Amy, Emily not far behind.
Downstairs, the first thing Dean saw was the big, burly looking man with a beer gut and scraggily beard, most obviously Amy's abusing father. He wanted to take a shot square to the man's jaw for hurting such a sweet girl, but Sam was standing in the doorway attaching the foyer to the kitchen and Robert had snuck up behind Dean and subtly rested his hands on Dean's shoulders to restrain him if need be.
It probably wasn't a good thing her father had seen the two of them coming from upstairs. Everyone in the room could feel the anger that had just begun radiating off Amy's dad. Amy stayed close to Dean's side, very subtly squeezing his hand for reassurance.
"Hey, Dad," she finally spoke up.
Dean saw out of the corner of his eye Emily ushering Sam and Kelly back out the back door to the party, despite Sam's quiet protests.
"I thought I told you not to leave the house without my knowing," the haggard man growled. He was obviously restraining himself and in that, Dean found no comfort. He was almost glad Robert was standing right behind him.
"I know, I'm sorry. I thought I left a note on the counter to tell you where I went. I must've forgotten to set it down when I left," Amy stated. Her voice was quivering, but she still sounded somewhat confident.
"Go get in the car," her father sounded angry now; not as held back.
"Ken, wait a second. She's welcome to stay. I'll drop her off myself when the party's over," Rob cut in.
"I want her home now," Ken said abruptly. "I want you in the car in two minutes or I'm dragging you home by your hair." That would've been a little funny had he not been completely serious in the threat.
Dean felt Amy's hand shaking in his as her dad swung open the front door and pounded down the steps of the porch.
Rob looked defeated in his failure to let Amy stay out of her house as long as she could and gave Dean an apologetic look before going to find his wife outside.
"You sure you're gonna be okay with him, Amy?" Dean asked, worriedly, turning to face the girl shaking from head to toe next to him.
"No, but I'll sneak out if I have to," she said quietly. "I might um—stop by later. Can it just be no questions asked?" She looked scared and sad so he nodded his head in agreement before pulling her into a quick hug.
"Yeah, sure. No questions asked," he murmured into her hair before kissing the top of her head and letting her go.
Dean was unsure of why she hadn't made a move to say or do anything until she stood on her toes to place a swift kiss on his lips. "Thank you for inviting me," she said politely. "It was nice."
"Be careful," he whispered just before she slipped out the front door, waving once back at him with a wistful smile as she ducked into the backseat of her father's crappy car.
After a long moment, when the car was out of sight, Dean closed the front door and went out back to find his brother. Emily had said Sam had been looking for him before. Upon discovering he was hiding out by the swing set with Kelly again, the elder brother thought it best to leave him alone. He was just floating around the yard if he was needed, anyway. Sam could find him…
"So there's this dance coming up," Kelly was saying, a subtle smile on her face as she continued, "I was wondering if you wanted to go with me."
Sam hesitated. He'd hardly ever talked to girls before Kelly, let alone been asked out by one. After a second though, an undeniable grin broke out on his face, dimples and all. "I'd love to."
"Yay," she squeaked quietly, squeezing him in a hug quickly before letting go. A blush crept to his face as she pressed her lips to his cheek and ever-so-subtly slipped her hand into his, both hidden in the grass between them.
From across the yard, Emily saw the exchange and smiled to herself. Maybe she was getting through to these boys after all.
A/N: Okay so I haven't updated this in a long time. And for that, I eternally apologize.
Between holidays, depression, a heartbreaking break-up and a stress-induced stomach ulcer, things got a LITTLE crazy. So I hope you enjoy the eight pages I'm posting now.
And I hope you'll leave a review so I don't feel so totally, completely useless in all of this.
:) Renegade87 gets her love, as always.
Ex Oh Kyss! (XxCrashAndBurnXx)